Even if Trump adviser Steve Bannon is convicted of criminal contempt and sentenced to jail, he won't be forced to testify before the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.
However, there is another strategy the committee could use to ultimately compel Bannon's testimony, according to former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance.
Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday, Vance first commented on Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who reacted in a TV interview this week to the committee's decision to subpoena Roger Stone and Alex Jones. "I can tell you that I'm not aware of anybody in the White House that had conversations with either one of those individuals," said Meadows, who is himself defying a subpoena from the committee.
Vance responded to Meadows' comments by saying she "expects to hear that audio tape actually played back against Meadows if the government is forced to compel or prosecute him to obtain his testimony."
"He sure makes a good case for himself as a witness, saying that some people didn't have conversations, and of course implying that other people did," Vance said.
But Vance added that "the real story" is the number of witnesses who are speaking with the committee without subpoenas — as well as the documents that congressional investigators have already obtained.
"We see that reflected in some of these new subpoenas which contain information that's clearly coming from witnesses," Vance said. "They're being very, very definitive — for instance, with some of the members of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, when they explain why they're seeking their testimony, and also with some of the folks who are organizers of the Jan. 6 event."
"They're looking at organizers, they're looking at organizations, and they clearly have a trajectory where they're trying to obtain the information they need," she added. "Whether they'll be able to go back and get people like Bannon to testify is still an open question. Even if Bannon is convicted, that's no guarantee that he will ever testify. But the committee will then have an opportunity to engage in civil contempt proceedings that could find him back in prison and holding his own keys to his jail cell based on when he chooses to testify or not."
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